7 Things You Can Do Right Now to Clean Up Your Email and Boost Your Productivity

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“Email is a tool – it’s not something that should control your day.”

If you get a feeling of dread whenever you’re about to check your inbox, then it’s time for a change. Yes, email is crucial to online communication, but it doesn’t have to dictate how you work.

I periodically go through an email “cleansing”, where I dedicate an hour or two to sorting out my 5+ email accounts: deleting, archiving, unsubscribing, reporting spam, etc., etc. It relieves some stress, I must say, but it’s not a very efficient process.

There is a better way to handle your inbox. Here are 7 awesome email hacks from entrepreneur Chris Ducker:

  1. Unsubscribe from email newsletter lists using Unroll.Me. (I tried this, and it works beautifully!)
  2. Remove yourself from any internal company and business threads. This isn’t applicable to every situation, so do so with caution.
  3. Don’t “come back” to emails later. Once opened, either delete, reply, flag or forward. But easier said than done, eh?
  4. If you need more than 3 sentences to reply to an email, pick up the phone instead. You can adjust this rule according to the type of work you do and the kinds of people you interact with.
  5. Instead of cluttering up you email with not-so-important messages, use a project management system to work on projects—I suggest Basecamp, Trello and/or Asana.
  6. Get your email into the cloud so that you can access it from wherever you are and no matter what device you are using.
  7. Stop using your inbox as your to-do list (guilty). Email is only for correspondence, so manage your workflow with mobile apps or a good old-fashioned diary.

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